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Name organisation:
TicketSwap
Reviewer:
Hans Ober
Organisation type:
BV
Service:
Purchase and sale of second-hand e-tickets
Total Staff:
20
Website:
www.ticketswap.nl

ticketswap-portret

TicketSwap is an Internet-based platform that accommodates the purchase and sale of second-hand admission tickets, in which capacity it has evolved remarkably quickly into the e-ticket platform of choice for those who seek admission to special events, festivals and concerts. Security, reliability and ease of use are what the TicketSwap service is all about: ticket sellers know they receive their money and ticket buyers – who receive their e-tickets in their inbox as soon as their payment has been processed – can be sure that they have purchased valid tickets at a fair price.

The decision to switch to Koppel was no-brainer

It was in the summer of 2012 that Hans Ober first coined the idea of creating an on-line platform for the purchase and sale of e-tickets: “There was no easy and reliable way at the time of buying and selling second-hand admission tickets, as I myself had experienced more than once.” He put his outline ideas to two prospective business partners he had sought out – both of whom had already earned their spurs as web site designers – and the newly formed triumvirate launched TicketSwap before the year was out.

The fledgling company started out with a different accounting consultant, mostly for tax advice. “It’s not that we didn’t get on,” remembers Hans Ober, “but when practical issues started cropping up, we realised that they fell short in the technological affinity department and simply did not have enough staff on hand to process the ever-growing number of bookings.” As every single transaction on the platform entails certain administrative steps to be taken and the number of purchase and sale transactions soon ballooned, it wasn’t long until the manual entry of the myriad of bookings had reached unacceptably time-consuming levels.

Hans’ partners had had dealings with Koppel Services for some considerable time in connection with their other business and introduced Hans to Nico Koppel. The latter’s keen interest in start-ups was the first thing Hans noticed: “Not only did he hint at his affinity with start-ups and IT, but one of his first observations was how much time we’d be able to save by having transactions automatically converted to bookings.” This clinched the decision to switch to Koppel, under whose supervision a fully automated system was created for TicketSwap – in close harmony to Koppel’s own system – to handle the administrative processing of the steadily expanding transaction flow.

We rely on the professionals at Koppel’s to do what needs to be done

A further challenge presented itself in 2015, when changes were implemented at EU level to the value-added tax regime for Internet-based services and Koppel once more proved invaluable. The new rules made it compulsory for businesses to settle up their value-added tax with the tax authorities in the countries of residence of their customers rather than their own country of establishment, as they had done before. The MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) scheme was introduced at the same time, to obviate the need for businesses to register in every single EU Member State to which they were supplying their services by allowing them to report the value-added tax they had charged on their digital services in just the one EU country. Explains Hans: “By this time we had successfully taken our operations to several other EU countries. Thanks to Koppel our system had a unique option bolted on to it which has enabled it to select the applicable value-added tax rate by having the customer disclose his or her country of residence. A single Dutch value-added tax return and one for all other EU Member States now suffices. Just imagine how much time this is saving us!”

Its partnership with Koppel has continued to date to be of crucial importance to TicketSwap: “We are in the process of reforming our private limited liability company set-up and consider ourselves fortunate in having Koppel to rely on for support and advice. They know us well enough to allow us to give them free reign. It is the professionals at Koppel who talk to our lawyers, crunch the numbers for the various options and come back to us with a proposal.”

It’s almost as if Koppel is a TicketSwap business unit

“I consider Koppel’s comprehensive service range as a major advantage,” says Hans Ober. “We have outsourced our payroll accounting to them as well, and they handle the accounts of our personal holding companies. It’s with complete confidence that we leave all our financial matters to them – that’s how up to speed on our business they are. In fact, it’s almost as if Koppel is a TicketSwap business unit,” he chuckles.

Hans is currently in the process of buying his own home, and here too Koppel is lending a hand: “Nico is thoroughly aware of where we are financially, which puts him in the perfect position to provide each of us with financial advice on a personal level. It’s a great relief to be able to dispense with compiling the business figures all over again.”

Hans regards Koppel’s IT proficiency and empathy with the IT industry as “absolutely vital” to his business. He has warmly recommended Koppel to quite a few of the fellow on-line business owners with whom he maintains frequent contact, he says: “There’s no need for us time and again to tell Koppel what’s what. They simply ‘get’ us and know exactly what it is we need.”

The old situation

TicketSwap was launched in 2012 and has since evolved into a household name in the area of e-ticket purchase and sale. The platform applies a maximum sale price of 120% of the original price. Ticket sellers pay a mediation fee and ticket buyers, a transaction fee. Each individual transaction constitutes an administrative procedure in its own right, which explains why it wasn’t long before the administrative side of things snowballed, prompting the founders of the company to find a clever way out of this predicament.

The solution

Koppel Services created a fully automated solution to handle the entire administrative side of TicketSwap’s e-ticket purchase and sale transactions, enabling the transformation – in close consultation and tight collaboration with TicketSwap’s programmers – of what was once a manual processing system into a fully automated one, as a textbook example of a one-off investment which has freed up an enormous amount of time.

The benefits

  • Sophisticated solutions that immediately start yielding substantial savings
  • Koppel’s fluency in IT-speak ensures that it knows exactly what the industry needs
  • Koppel appreciates what it takes to run an IT business and recognises that the business cycles in the IT sphere can be very different from those at more traditional enterprises
  • Koppel has been a first-hand witness to TicketSwap’s evolution from start-up to mature organisation, and throughout this process has been able to supply a variety of solutions
  • Short lines of communication, always the same contacts

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